Q&A – Denny D.

Q&A – Denny D.

Mar 1, 2012

How many times do u suggest benching and working chest through out the week? And how many times do u go heavy or light?
– Denny D. 

Thanks for the question Denny!

I’ll give you a few different suggestions, and I apologize for the answer being so broad!  First thing is first, if you want to have a larger bench press, the lifter must change their approach from thinking about working body parts to working movements.  When powerlifters bench press, they are not concerned with their chests, they are concerned with their bench press.  When bodybuilders bench press, they more or less are trying to work their chests and build them.

With that said, for bodybuilding, it is recommended to work the chest 1-2 times per week.

For Powerlifting and beginner-intermediate level benchers, I recommend 2 times per week.

If you were just a bench press only guy or world class powerlifter, you could bench press 2-4 times per week with great success.  I do not recommend for the beginner or intermediate lifter to bench more than 2 times per week.  Eventually, as the lifter gets more advanced, the more frequently they can bench press.  Remember this though, for a higher frequency, the volumes, intensities, and stresses must be regulated in a way to not overtrain/over-stress the lifter.

For me personally, I bench press 4 times per week!  I have been doing this off and on for about 5 years now and never looked back.  It’s brought my press from 518 to 672 in that time.

My bench press template:
Monday: HEAVY BENCH PRESSES WITH EQUIPMENT/BENCH SHIRT 90-100% intensity, medium-high volume
Tuesday: Close Grip Bench Presses with 70-75% intensity, low-medium volume
Wednesday: OFF
Thursday: Wide Grip Raw Bench with 80-85% intensity, medium volume / Military Presses
Friday: Medium Grip Bench Press with 75-80% intensity, low-medium volume

Recommended BEGINNER-INTERMEDIATE TEMPLATE:
Monday: Heavy Bench Press / Close Grip Bench Press / Military Press
Thursday:  Medium Grip Bench Press / Wide Grip Bench Press  / Close Grip Variation
the intensities with which these exercises are to be performed will vary as well, but will stay mostly in the 70-85% range

For the intermediate level, the lifter could include some variation in their bench press exercises.  Variation of a bench press can include bands, chains, pauses, tempo changes, pin presses, reverse bands, etc.

For the beginner, stick to straight bench pressing without any gadgets.  Get good at bench pressing before throwing too much variation in.  Even as a World Class bencher myself, I stick to straight weight and don’t use a lot of bands, chains, or much variation at all.  Its mostly straight weight.

Final thoughts!

This is the approach I recommend to all people who weight train and not necessarily body build.  “How we train should dictate how strong we are.  Let size be a byproduct of strength…not the other way around!” – Brady Stewart

Denny, if you have any more questions, just post them under this answer!  Thanks man!

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